The Burien Arts Galleryâ€™s August exhibition features painter Jim Matthew, photographer Jane Day Lanning, ceramic artist Vicki Hamilton and mixed media creator Diane Baxter. Meet the artists at the opening reception on Thursday, Aug. 7, from 4-9 p.m., as part of the August B-Town Beat Art & Music Walk. The gallery is lcated at 826 SW 152nd Street in Olde Burien. The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday, Noon-6 p.m. and Sunday, Noon-4 p.m. It is closed Monday and Tuesday. Matthew notes his early artistic influences included his grandmother who taught him painting at the age of four. Artists at Highline College and Washington State University were also early inspirations. In the 1990â€™s, Matthew worked as a studio assistant for Alden Mason. Matthew has exhibited in several Seattle galleries, including a two-person show with Kenneth Callahan at the Woodside/Braseth Gallery. The Fountainhead Gallery in Seattle currently represents Matthew. Several companies and organizations have purchased Matthewâ€™s work including the cities of Burien, Kent, Tukwila and Seattle. For a Tacoma church, Matthew painted a 7-panel mural. Each panel measured 6 feet by 8 feet. He also painted an outdoor mural for Des Moines Florist. Matthew is a member of the Puget Sound Group of Northwest Painters and a founding member of the Poverty Bay Artist Group. Matthew earned a bachelorâ€™s degree in Fine Art from Washington State University and is currently enrolled in Highline Collegeâ€™s Visual Communications program. He lives in Des Moines with his wife. He has two daughters and two granddaughters. Lanning recalls her love of photography began in 1968 when her father gave her a SLR camera in 9th grade and Mr. Conley, the physics teacher, installed a darkroom. Years later, she completed the Art Institute of Seattleâ€™s Commercial Photography program. As a life-long learner, Lanning traveled to Nepal for her first documentary assignment and has explored numerous national parks. â€œWalking allows me to slow down and attend to natureâ€™s multitude of details and beauty,â€ Lanning declares. While not outdoors, Lanning teaches special needs students at Highline High School in Burien. Wanting to get unstuck from the familiar and confortable context of doing the same thing over and over, Hamilton enrolled last September for a third time at the La Meridiana International School of Ceramic Arts in Italy. â€œHere there are openings for creativityâ€”inspiration is wherever you look!â€ Hamilton said. â€œThe architecture, the landscape, the produce markets, galleries, museums, people. â€œI began to see objects relative to the spaces they inhabited. I also began to wonder about the spaces between objects in a group and how might those spaces be part of the grouping.â€ Now, Hamilton is back in her â€œnormalâ€ environment at the Moshier Art Center in Burien. â€œQuestions? Weâ€™re human and always looking for the answer, yes? Iâ€™m trying to stay in the questionâ€”to keep looking. The departure from strictly functional in my work, however temporary it might be, has got me wondering who I am,â€ Hamilton adds. Baxterâ€™s dramatic mixed media pieces–nearly six feet tall and measuring 15 inches at the baseâ€”are held over from the July show. They are composed of organic materials gathered locally, including dirt, sand and sticks. Brocade cloth, wax, ribbon, nails, paint, charcoal and even a little bear fur can be discovered in her work. Baxter was born and raised in the Seattle area but has lived periodically in Alaska. She first worked in clay but has branched out into mixed media and collage. â€œI feel our modern society is disconnected from the natural world and its elements. We are surrounded by plastic and concrete with the proliferation of more and more mass produced items being forced upon us,â€ Baxter declares. â€œThe use of organic material provides me with a real and intimate relationship with nature. I believe others need these organic elements brought to their homes and workspaces.â€ As always, works from Artists United will also be featured.]]>
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